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[THADDEUS STEVENS] Constitution of the United States of America, as Proposed by the Convention Held at Philadelphia, September 17, 1787, and Since Ratified by the Several States; With the Amendments Thereto: to which are Added Standing Rules and Orders for Conducting Business in the House of Representatives of the United States. Printed for the Use of the House of Representatives
Washington DC: William M. Belt, 1849. First Edition thus. Hardcover. Good. Octavo, 91pp., plus numerous blank leaves meant for note-taking. Good only in the publisher's black calf with gilt borders, with wear and loss at the spine ends, dampstaining and some mild foxing to some leaves. Still, an entirely unrestored, intact copy with striking bright gilt on the front board. Thaddeus Stevens' own copy of the constitution and rules of order for the House of Representatives, issued to him in the year of his inauguration as a congressman from Pennsylvania in 1849. Stevens, who would later become known as perhaps the leading Radical Republican abolitionist in the House of Representatives up to and during the Civil War, was first elected to congress in 1848 as a Whig, taking his seat in 1849. He proved to be so radical after two terms that he did not seek re-election from 1852-1858. After being re-elected in 1858 as a Republican, Stevens would be perhaps the leading congressional supporter of the cause of abolition, and some historians have argued that Stevens was one of the main drivers who ultimately steered an initially hesitant President Lincoln towards emancipation as an unimpeachable goal of the Civil War. Stevens had a close relationship with his African-American live-in housekeeper, Lydia Hamilton Smith, and some scholars believe that their relationship was romantic, although this is still unproven. While one wishes to see even just a few scribbled notes from the forward-thinking congressman on the blank leaves in this volume, it is unfortunately unmarked. Still, this pocket-sized copy of the constitution no doubt traveled with Stevens as he made his mark and took his proud stances in the US congress from 1849-1853 as a freshman, and one can even imagine him lifting it in the air during a rousing speech in Congress, chastising the slaveholding planter class and their northern sympathizers for the Fugitive Slave Act and the Compomise of 1850, which he believed were not just immoral, but would inevitably lead to war.
      [Bookseller: Cleveland Book Company]
Last Found On: 2017-06-14           Check availability:      Biblio    

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